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Paraguay, Brazil Strengthen Fight Against Organized Crime

Paraguay, Brazil Strengthen Fight Against Organized Crime

By Juan Delgado/Diálogo
December 22, 2021

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In late November, the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Spanish) and the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) inaugurated the Strategic Intelligence Directorate Mbareté Base in Pedro Juan Caballero, Amambay department, on the border with Brazil, on a property that authorities had seized in a binational operation against narcotrafficking, SENAD said in a statement.

“This unit is meant to be an integrated intelligence point between Paraguay and Brazil in the framework of criminal investigations. The intent is that in the medium term, the site will be able to incorporate liaisons from other countries of the region, so as to increase the interaction among security organizations,” SENAD indicated.

SENAD Minister Zully Rolón and Luís Flávio Zampronha de Oliveira, head of the PF’s Directorate for Investigation and Combat of Organized Crime, presided over the inauguration of the Mbareté Base. The officials unveiled a plaque commemorating the partnership between both institutions, and coordinated future joint actions.

“The center is a new strategic milestone in the joint fight against organized crime,” the PF said on Twitter. The inauguration of the base coincided with the commemoration of seven years of joint work against organized crime between Paraguay and Brazil, through major operations to eradicate crops, disband drug and arms trafficking groups, capture drug lords, and dismantle complex money laundering schemes.

“It’s important to set up an intelligence base, which we call Mbareté, because we intend to work that way, and it’s also being done within the interinstitutional framework with the PF. The idea is to have agents from other countries in the region to strengthen and create opportunities [to acquire] knowledge about narcotrafficking and money laundering,” said Rolón, according to Paraguayan radio station Futura 97.5 FM.

According to the minister, SENAD will set up other strategic intelligence bases throughout the country to increase operations against organized crime. “We will soon be doing this in other strategic areas of the country, to strengthen efforts in the fight against crime in areas considered very sensitive,” Rolón said, the Paraguayan newspaper Última Hora reported on November 30.

Since 2014, SENAD and PF have been renewing cooperation agreements that allow for continued activities in the fight against transnational crime, under Operation New Alliance (Operación Nueva Alianza). “Over seven years, such coordinated actions have dealt heavy financial blows to organized crime,” SENAD said in a statement.

“It is estimated that in this period of time the finances of criminal groups have suffered losses exceeding $1.1 billion in the form of seized drugs, as well as property, vehicles, aircraft, vessels, and cash,” SENAD added.

The inauguration of the Mbareté base also coincided with the end of Operation New Alliance XXVIII carried out in Amambay department. The binational operation resulted with the eradication of 131 hectares of marijuana crops and the dismantling of 94 drug camps, the Paraguayan institution indicated.

With this latest operation, and so far this year, Brazilian and Paraguayan forces have eradicated more than 2,000 hectares of marijuana, equivalent to about 6,300 tons of marijuana, SENAD concluded.